01 August 2012

Northamptonshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people not to get distracted when cooking.

Half of all accidental fires in England begin in the kitchen, and more than half of all fire casualties are caused by kitchen fires.

Distraction while cooking is one of the main causes of fire call-outs in Northamptonshire so the fire and rescue service is asking local residents to take extra care in the kitchen during the Olympic Games and be aware that an overheated oven or chip pan abandoned in the excitement of final could have disastrous consequences.

Group Manager, Baz Fox said: "We're all looking forward to watching our top athletes set the nation's stadiums alight this summer, but if you're cooking when your favourite sport is on, it's important not to get caught in the heat of the moment.

"Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen - often because of distractions like phone calls, family or the latest TV plot line. So when you're watching Team GB blazing ahead, make sure keep your eye on the ball. "

NFRS's top tips for staying safe in the kitchen this summer are:

  • Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
  • Double check the cooker is off when you've finished.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob. Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
  • Take care with electrics - leads and appliances away from water and place grills and away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
  • Keep your equipment clean and in good working order. A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
  • Don't cook after drinking alcohol.
  • Hot oil can catch fire easily - be careful that it doesn't overheat.
  • Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
  • In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place.
  • Don't take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Get a smoke alarm and test it weekly.

Stay safe and enjoy the games.